With a win by the Hawks, the Knicks were officially eliminated from the 2014 NBA Playoffs on Saturday. The future of the franchise hinges on Carmelo Anthony‘s decision this summer. Anthony has already said he’ll opt out of the final year of his contract to become a free agent on July 1, and Phil Jackson might be facing a tall task to rebuild if ‘Melo bounces — though maybe not. Despite the depressing season, Amar’e Stoudemire recently said the Knicks might have the best team in the NBA on paper.
The Knicks are in flux, and Anthony is the biggest question mark. Head coach Mike Woodson is likely done, and many believe Steve Kerr will be Jackson’s replacement on the bench.
Despite the murkiness surrounding next season’s coach, anyone with two eyeballs and a frontal lobe knows it’s not just New York’s coaching staff in need of a makeover. If New York can’t make the playoffs in the Eastern Conference — where the Hawks will sneak in with a losing record while a 47-win Memphis or Phoenix team won’t even make the cut in the West — then some drastic changes on the court and the bench are in order.
That’s why Stoudemire’s recent comments, as noted by NBA.com’s Adam Zagoria, sound so clueless (emphasis ours):
Going forward under new President Phil Jackson, Amar’e Stoudemire said there was a lot of uncertainty surrounding Anthony and other players. “There could be a lot of changes, that’s the unknown factor,” Stoudemire said. Stoudemire added with a straight face: “On paper we might be the best team in the league.”
Zagoria felt the need to preface the comment by telling us Stoudemire was serious. A lot of basketball writers debated the phrase, “on paper,” after the Lakers signed Steve Nash and traded for Dwight Howard before the 2012-13 season. “On paper,” the Lakers were the team to beat before they imploded that season.
The Knicks aren’t nearly as good as that underperforming Lakers squad, on paper…on wood, on tar, on concrete, on water, on sand, or on any surface known, or unknown, to mankind. STAT sounds like an out-of-touch lunatic without any self-awareness when he says something so blatantly wrong. Either Amar’e was misquoted, he really is nutty (and after this season, who can blame him), or the Knicks’ brass — headed by the petulant man-child James Dolan — has gotten so good at their propaganda, Stoudemire actually believes Dolan and Company’s preseason agitprop.
Is there any truth to Stoudemire’s comments?
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